Alyssa Drake will always hold a special place in my book blog, she was the first author to ever reach out to me, and she did so at the perfect time. It was like fate xP I was in a giant book rut, absolutely bored with everything I was reading because it all felt the same. Then I got a message from her asking if I was open to reviewing her book. I was so excited because I’d never had an author actually want me to review their books so I was trying to come off as professional and cool as a cucumber when on the inside I was jumping up and down I was so happy. She put up with my extreme awkwardness and sent me her book. A Perfect Plan was everything I was searching for, it was unique and amazing and perfection. As soon as I finished it I begged her to let me on her ARC team because I knew I would never get enough of her. She graciously agreed and I was not disappointed. I’m not going to post much about that book because I will be posting my review for it on its release day March 24th, An Imperfect Engagement. In honor of her upcoming release she is this months Author Spotlight. Alyssa Drake is so kind if you ever get the chance to interact with her, I swear I’m either swooning over her work when I’m talking to her or trying to not so I come off as cold and terrible. I will never stop fan girling over authors and she was just so kind to me the entire time. She agreed to answer a few questions for me so here we go!
1) What is your favorite book you’ve written?
I hate to admit this, but I enjoyed writing An Imperfect Engagement more than I enjoyed writing A Perfect Plan; it moves a little faster than book 1. As the characters were already developed from the first book, I got to see deeper facets of their personalities in the second book – which was fun and a little surprising at times. My favorite character also changed from Aunt Abigail (Benjamin’s feisty aunt) to the villain (he is just so delightfully twisted and disturbed). I really hope he survives book 3, because I will be sad to see him go.
2) What is your favorite book?
My favorite go to book of all time is the first book in a science-fiction series by Anne McCaffery. I am not a huge fan of sci-fi, however I was given the Crystal Singer series in my youth. The first book, Crystal Singer, is still on my bookshelf. I was drawn to the main character, Killashandra, and the struggles she faces as a young adult transitioning into a grown woman.
3) What is your favorite quote?
“How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” – Trina Paulus
4) Do you have a favorite author? Who?
My favorite author is Jane Austen, hands down. She was the original romance writer and has been my favorite author since I was introduced to her in English lit.
5) Which twin would you choose for yourself?
That is an unfair question! I fell in love with Benjamin first; he is strong, determined and dominating. However, Thomas is playful, amusing and possesses a kind heart. Oh man. Okay, I would choose Benjamin (but that is only because I know him better at this point).
6) Was it hard to put a modern twist into your books while staying true to the genre?
Not at all. Relationship dynamics and struggles are timeless; people are motivated by love of something – be it a person or a thing. The only difference is the lack of technology (which is kind of fun and frustrating at the same time) and the social restrictions. However, I spend a lot of time researching life in the 1850’s: clothing, lighting, food, transportation, housing, and social expectations. I feel like history major; Google must think I am crazy.
7) Do you follow a plan while writing or do your characters end up writing the story themselves?
I start with a skeletal outline; scenes written on post-it notes, which can be moved around on a timeline. I create a beginning, middle and end. Then I let the characters have free reign to run amok. Sometimes they even surprise me.
8) Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
Samantha. I was a tom boy in my youth and have learned a variety of “inappropriate” activities including shooting a gun, shooting a bow and arrow, rock climbing, horseback riding, fencing, and fishing. Samantha’s spirit is dauntless; I hope to live the same way.
9) Can we expect more from you soon?
Yes, you can. The second book in the Wiltshire Chronicles series will release soon. Look for An Imperfect Engagement on March 24th. I also am participating in a fairy tale reboot anthology with nine other talented author. I am reimagining The Frog Prince, a modern twist with a dash of love. Look for it in September.
10) What is your favorite color?
Green-blue (the color of the ocean).
Award winning author Alyssa Drake has been creating stories since she could read, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. Enraptured with all types of writing, Alyssa has tried her hand at short stories, collaborations and poetry. However, her first love has always been books. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when visualizing conversations between her characters.
Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, with a B.S. in business and a concentration in French literature. Currently she resides in Northern California with her blended family, where she works full-time at a chocolate factory.
She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her in her mobile author cave (public transportation). Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.
An Imperfect Engagement, Alyssa’ sophomore novel, is the follow-up to her debut novel, A Perfect Plan (which won Obsessed by Book’s 2016 Indie Award for Best Historical Read). Both novels are historical romantic suspense (love & murder in 1850’s England).